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Rock music is a genre of popular music often, though not necessarily, employing electric guitar, bass guitar, and drums. Many styles of rock music also use keyboard instruments such as organ, piano, mellotron, and synthesizers. Other instruments sometimes utilized in rock include saxophone, harmonica, violin, flute, French horn, banjo, melodica, and timpani. Also, less common stringed instruments such as mandolin and sitar are used. Rock music usually has a strong back beat, and often revolves around the guitar, either solid electric, hollow electric, or acoustic.

Rock music has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll and rockabilly, which evolved from blues, country music and other influences. According to Allmusic, "In its purest form, Rock & Roll has three chords, a strong, insistent back beat, and a catchy melody. Early rock & roll drew from a variety of sources, primarily blues, R&B, and country, but also gospel, traditional pop, jazz, and folk. All of these influences combined in a simple, blues-based song structure that was fast, danceable, and catchy."

In the late 1960s, rock music was blended with folk music to create folk rock, blues to create blues-rock and with jazz, to create jazz-rock fusion, and without a time signature to create psychedelic rock. In the 1970s, rock incorporated influences from soul, funk, and latin music. Also in the 1970s, rock developed a number of subgenres, such as soft rock, glam rock, heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, and punk rock. Rock subgenres that emerged in the 1980s included New Wave, hardcore punk and alternative rock. In the 1990s, rock subgenres included grunge, Britpop, indie rock, and nu metal.

A group of musicians specializing in rock music is called a rock band or rock group. Many rock groups consist of a guitarist, lead singer, bass guitarist, and a drummer, forming a quartet. Some groups omit one or more of these roles and/or utilize a lead singer who plays an instrument while singing, sometimes forming a trio or duo; others include additional musicians such as one or two rhythm guitarists and/or a keyboardist. More rarely, groups also utilize stringed instruments such as violins or cellos, and/or horns like saxophones, trumpets or trombones.

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Rock and roll

Rock and roll evolved in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and quickly spread to the rest of the world. Its immediate origins lay in a mixing together of various popular musical genres of the time, including rhythm and blues, gospel music, and country and western. In 1951, Cleveland, Ohio disc jockey Alan Freed began playing rhythm and blues music for a multi-racial audience, and is credited with first using the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the music.
There is much debate as to what should be considered the first rock & roll record. One leading contender is "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats (in fact, Ike Turner and his band The Kings of Rhythm), recorded by Sam Phillips for Sun Records in 1951. Four years later, Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" (1955) became the first rock and roll song to top Billboard magazine's main sales and airplay charts, and opened the door worldwide for this new wave of popular culture. Rolling Stone magazine argued in 2004 that "That's All Right (Mama)" (1954), Elvis Presley's first single for Sun Records in Memphis, was the first rock and roll record. But, at the same time, Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle & Roll", later covered by Haley, was already at the top of the Billboard R&B charts. Other artists with early rock and roll hits included Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent.
The 1950s saw the growth in popularity of the electric guitar, and the development of a specifically rock and roll style of playing through such exponents as Berry, Link Wray, and Scotty Moore. It also saw major developments in recording technology such as multitrack recording developed by Les Paul, and the electronic treatment of sound by such innovators as Joe Meek. All these developments were important influences on later rock music.
The social effects of rock and roll were worldwide and massive. Far beyond simply a musical style, rock and roll influenced lifestyles, fashion, attitudes, and language. In addition, rock and roll may have helped the cause of the civil rights movement because both African American teens and white American teens enjoyed the music. However, by the early 1960s, much of the initial musical impetus and social radicalism of rock and roll had become dissipated, with the growth of teen idols, an emphasis on dance crazes, and the development of lightweight
 

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Early British rock

In the United Kingdom the trad jazz movement brought visiting blues music artists to Britain, While BAC was developing the Concorde, Lonnie Donegan's 1955 hit "Rock Island Line" was a major influence, and helped to develop the trend of skiffle music groups throughout the country, including John Lennon's the Quarry Men. Britain developed a major rock and roll scene, without the race barriers which kept "race records" or rhythm and blues separate in the U.S.
Cliff Richard had the first British rock 'n' roll hit with "Move It", effectively ushering in the sound of British rock. At the start of the 1960s, his backing group The Shadows was one of a number of groups having success with surf music instrumentals. And while rock 'n' roll was fading into lightweight pop and schmaltzy ballads, at clubs and local dances British rock groups, heavily influenced by blues-rock pioneers like Alexis Korner, were starting to play with an intensity and drive seldom found in white American acts.

By the end of 1962, the British rock scene had started with groups like the Beatles drawing on a wide range of American influences including soul music, rhythm and blues and surf music. Initially, they reinterpreted standard American tunes, playing for dancers doing the twist, for example. These groups eventually infused their original rock compositions with increasingly complex musical ideas and a distinctive sound.
In mid-1962 The Rolling Stones started as one of a number of groups increasingly showing blues influence, along with The Animals and The Yardbirds. In late 1964, The Kinks, The Who and The Pretty Things represented the new Mod style. Towards the end of the decade, British rock groups began to explore psychedelic musical styles that made reference to the drug subculture and hallucinogenic experiences.


1960s Garage rock

The British Invasion spawned a wave of imitators that played mainly to local audiences and made inexpensive recordings, a movement later called garage rock. Some music from this trend is included in the compilation album Nuggets. Some of the better known bands of this genre include The Sonics, Question Mark & the Mysterians, and The Standells.

1960s Surf music

The rockabilly sound influenced a wild, mostly instrumental sound called surf music, though surf culture saw itself as a competing youth culture to rock and roll. This style, exemplified by Dick Dale and The Surfaris, featured faster tempos, innovative percussion, and reverb- and echo-drenched electric guitar sounds. In the UK, British groups included The Shadows. Other West Coast bands, such as The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean slowed the tempos down and added lush harmony vocals to create what became known as the "California Sound"...


Rock as a counterculture movement (1963–1974)

In the late 1950s the US beatnik counterculture was associated with the wider anti-war movement building against the threat of the atomic bomb, notably CND in Britain. Both were associated with the jazz scene and with the growing folk song movement.


Folk rock
Bob Dylan and Folk rock
The folk scene was made up of folk music lovers who liked acoustic instruments, traditional songs, and blues music with a socially progressive message. The folk genre was pioneered by Woody Guthrie. Bob Dylan came to the fore in this movement, and his hits with Blowin' in the Wind and Masters of War brought "protest songs" to a wider public.
The Byrds, playing Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man, helped start the trend of folk rock, and helped stimulate the development of psychedelic rock. Dylan continued, with his "Like a Rolling Stone" becoming a US hit single. Neil Young's lyrical inventiveness and wailing electric guitar attack created a variation of folk rock. Other folk rock artists include Simon & Garfunkel, Joan Baez, The Mamas & the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Bobby Darin and The Band.
In Britain, Fairport Convention began applying rock techniques to traditional British folk songs, followed by groups such as Steeleye Span, Lindisfarne, Pentangle, and Trees. Alan Stivell in Brittany had the same approach.


Psychedelic rock

Psychedelic music began in the folk scene, with the Holy Modal Rounders popularizing the term in 1964. With a background including folk and jug band music, with bands like the Grateful Dead and Big Brother & the Holding Company being two famous bands of the genre.
The Fillmore was a regular venue for groups like another former jug band, Country Joe and the Fish, and Jefferson Airplane. Elsewhere, The Byrds had a hit with Eight Miles High. The 13th Floor Elevators titled their album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators. The music increasingly became associated with opposition to the Vietnam War.
In England, Pink Floyd had been developing psychedelic rock since 1965 in the underground culture scene. In 1966 the band Soft Machine was formed. Donovan had a folk music-influenced hit with Sunshine Superman, one of the early psychedelic pop records. In August 1966 The Beatles released their Revolver album, which featured psychedelia in "Tomorrow Never Knows" and in "Yellow Submarine", along with the memorable album cover. The Beach Boys responded in the U.S. with Pet Sounds. From a blues rock background, the British supergroup Cream debuted in December, and Jimi Hendrix became popular in Britain before returning to the US.
1967 was the year when the psychedelic scene truly took off. Many pioneering records came out including the first album from The Doors and Jefferson Airplane's highly successful Surrealistic Pillow. The Beatles' groundbreaking album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in June, and by the end of the year Pink Floyd's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Cream's Disraeli Gears and even The Rolling Stones's Their Satanic Majesties Request. As the Summer of Love reached its peak, the Monterey Pop Festival went underway headlining the top bands of the genre including Jefferson Airplane and also introducing Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix to the mainstream.
The culmination of rock and roll as a socially-unifying force was seen in the rock festivals of the late '60s, the most famous of which was Woodstock in 1969 which began as a three-day arts and music festival and turned into a "happening", as hundreds of thousands of youthful fans converged on the site.
Psychedelic rock enjoyed a modest revival in the mid-1980s as prominent bands like Echo and the Bunnymen and R.E.M. incorporated sounds lifted from earlier groups like The Doors and The Byrds into the burgeoning post-punk scene. Additionally, the collectively-titled Paisley Underground bands of Los Angeles epitomized the role played by Sixties psychedelia and folk-rock in American New Wave.

Glam rock
Glam rock emerged out of the English Psychedelic and art rock scene of the late 1960s, defined by artists such as T. Rex (band), Roxy Music, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, and David Bowie, also with origins in the theatrics of groups such as The Cockettes, performers such as Lindsay Kemp, and acts such as Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd (as represented in David Bowie's cover of See Emily Play) and Eddie Cochran (as represented by T. Rex's cover of Summertime Blues). The commonly accepted origin of Glam rock was when Tyrannosaurus Rex - a band produced by Tony Visconti and championed by the legendary John Peel - frontman/singer changed the band's name to T. Rex, releasing the number 1 UK single Ride A White Swan in December of 1970, ushering in Glam rock and the band as a pop phenomenon. Following soon after were other notable acts such as Slade and Roxy Music, and eventually David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust persona, who brought Glam rock its relatively novel and modest popularity in America, and leading to American artists such as Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, New York Dolls, Jobriath, and Alice Cooper adopting Glam or Glam-influenced styles.
However, Glam rock's legend is distinctly British, where it was a culture phenomenon and its stars were among the biggest stars in pop culture circa 1971 through 1974. Glam itself was a nostalgic mesh of various styles, both visual art and music, ranging from 1930s Hollywood glamor, to 1950s pin-up sex appeal and rock n' roll teenage rebellion, to pre-war Cabaret theatrics, to Victorian literary and Symbolist styles, to ancient and occult mysticism and mythology (such as Bowie's references to Aleister Crowley's "starman" in his song of the same name, and themes of reincarnation and self-invention in T. Rex's Cosmic Dancer). Glam is most noted for it's sexual and gender ambiguity and androgyny, and use of theatrics.
Throughout glam rock's popularity, many bubble-gum acts - such as Elton John, Slade, Gary Glitter, and Alvin Stardust - adopted raunchier and more sexual takes on Glam style. Other previously famous acts such as The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed re-invented themselves in a glam fashion, often to great success (including Reed's only #1 hit single, Walk On the Wild Side). However, glam's success in America, where mass audiences had trouble understanding its hybrid of high art and pop in favor of less challenging acts such as Led Zeppelin and Tony Orlando (on opposite sides of the spectrum), was modest at best, with artists such as T. Rex and Roxy Music having only a fraction of the success they had in the UK.
However, glam went on to influence many other genres, including punk, new wave, goth, jangle pop, college rock, and grunge, with artists as diverse as Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Kilbey, Johnny Rotten, Billy Corgan, Peter Murphy (who's band Bauhaus covered T. Rex's Telegram Sam and Bowie's Ziggy Stardust), and Adam Ant citing glam artists as key influences. Glam has since enjoyed sporadic modest revivals courtesy bands such as Chainsaw Kittens and Louis XIV (band).
 

Progressive rock

Progressive rock bands went beyond the established rock music formulas by experimenting with different instruments, song types, and musical forms. Some bands such as Eric Burdon & The Animals, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Procol Harum, The Who and Deep Purple experimented with new instruments including wind sections, string sections, and full orchestras. Many of these bands moved well beyond the formulaic three-minute rock songs into longer, increasingly sophisticated songs and chord structures. With inspiration from these earlier artists, referred to as "proto-prog", it flowered into its own genre, initially based in the UK, after King Crimson's 1969 genre-defining debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King. Progressive rock bands borrowed musical ideas from classical, jazz, electronic, and experimental music. Progressive rock songs ranged from lush, beautiful songs to atonal, dissonant, and complex songs. Few achieved major mainstream success, but large cults followed many of the groups. Pink Floyd, Yes, Marillion, Rush, Jethro Tull, Genesis, and a few less notable others were able to work in hit singles to their otherwise complex and untraditional albums to garner a larger audience.


Krautrock
By the late-1960s, German audiences began listening to progressive rock bands from Britain and the United States. During this period, avant-garde musicians in Germany were playing electronic classical music. These German avant-garde musicians adapted their electronic instruments for a style of music that blended progressive rock and psychedelic rock sounds. By the early 1970s, German progressive rock (later called krautrock) bands were blending jazz (Can) and Asian music (Popol Vuh). The music by bands such as Kraftwerk influenced the development of techno and other related genres.


Italian rock
In Italy progressive rock was also popular in the 1970s. Some Italian progressive rock bands were Premiata Forneria Marconi, Le Orme, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Area International Popular Group.
Pakistani rock
Although Pakistan has a long history of rock music producing legendary bands such as Junoon and Strings it was only in the 90s that progressive rock made its mark on Pakistani rock scene. One of the bands is Mizraab from the city of Karachi who started of in 1996 with their first album An Abstract Point of View. Then Panchi in 1999. Failing to leave an impact with their first albums Mizraab launched their third album Mazi Haal Mustaqbil in 2004 which proved a great success. Pakistani progressive rock is slowly gaining popularity and more bands are making this kind of music.
Indian rock
There are a few rock bands in India, like Silk Route or Euphoria. The music is mainly targeted at young adults and is gaining more acceptance in recent years.
Russian rock
Rock music first appeared in Russia in the 1970s-80s, mainly in the form of progressive rock. In the USSR, rock music was officially prohibited as western influence, so there weren't any rock groups which released official albums. However, there were a lot of underground groups, which performed "flat concerts" - "kvartirniks". Such popular bands as Akvarium and Kino were voyagers of Russian rock. They often used flutes, clarinets, cellos, violins, fortepianos, saxophones and other instruments which are peculiar to progressive rock. In 1986, the split album Red Wave featuring four popular Russian rock bands - Kino, Akvarium, Alisa and Strange Games was released in the United States.
Music of Turkey Pop-rock, Rock
In Turkey progressive rock began to grow with Barış Manšo in the mid-1970s. His symphonic-progressive rock album 2023, released in 1975, is one of the most important albums in Turkey. He made a contribution to the other genres of rock music with his other albums and became a famous rock star in Turkey.
 

Soft rock

Rock music had a short-lived "bubble gum pop" era, of soft rock, including groups such as The Partridge Family, The Cowsills, The Osmonds, and The Archies. Other bands or artists added more orchestration and created a popular genre known as soft rock. Performers included Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton-John, Elton John, Billy Joel, Gerry Rafferty and Eric Carmen, and groups such as Bread, The Carpenters, Electric Light Orchestra, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Bread, Chicago and Tina Turner.
The mid to late 70s
 

Hard rock and heavy metal

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Grand Funk Railroad and The Who began the practice of live performances for large audiences in stadiums and arenas. The growing popularity of metal and progressive rock led to more bands selling out large venues. Entertainment companies marketed a series of arena rock bands, such as Journey, Boston, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Heart, and Foreigner in the late 70s. Corporate rock has many of the same characteristics with respect to mega-sales of albums and superstar level bands. This music is frequently referred to a "classic rock" or sometimes "guitar rock"

Bands carried on driving the development of technology for large scale concerts, notably The Who, Led Zeppelin, Peter Frampton, Pink Floyd and Queen.

Day On The Green was the name of an arena-style concert series in Oakland, California, presented by Bill Graham and his company Bill Graham Presents. Held at the Oakland Coliseum Stadium, these events happened beginning in 1973 and continued on into the early 1990s.

Another Arena Rock band is U2, which has made one of the more extravagant Arena Rock experience: the Zoo Tv Tour, which combined the latest technology of the early 90's with the unique U2 sound and a big number of TV's and giant screens. It was considered as a multi-sensorial experience but it had a background message: the criticism of a society which spend hours in front of a TV screen.

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